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Lucas Anthony “Luke” Kalb, age 32 of Dubuque, Iowa was called home after a courageous battle with cancer on Saturday, February 10th at Finley Hospital, surrounded by his family.
To honor Luke's life, funeral service will be held at 10:30 am on Thursday, February 15th, 2018 at St. Columbkilles Church, 1230 Rush Street, with Rev. John J. O'Connor officiating. Burial will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery.
To celebrate Luke's life, family and friends may visit from 2:00 pm until 8:00 pm on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Rd.
Luke was born on November 18, 1985, in Dubuque Iowa, son of Peter and Kathy (Ferris) Kalb.
He was a 2004 graduate from Senior High School, where he was a 4 sport letter winner, playing football, basketball, soccer, and baseball.
After high school Luke continued his education at North Iowa Area Community College where he played both football and baseball.
He realized his true passion was on the mound and committed himself to playing at William Jewell College, Liberty, MO, where he was a star pitcher and earned the nickname Big Righty.
He graduated from William Jewell with a Bachelor of Science degree and began working for the Liberty Park and Recreation Department.
It wasn't long before Luke found himself back in Dubuque, pursuing his Masters Degree, as a Graduate Assistant for the University of Dubuque baseball program.
Shortly after moving home, Luke was diagnosed with Fibrolamellar, an ultra rare from of Liver Cancer.
He fought hard, remained positive and against the odds graduated with his Master of Business Administration from the University of Dubuque in 2017. Following graduation, he accepted the position of Assistant Baseball coach for the Spartans.
Luke was proud to be called coach. He was respected and loved by his players and the entire University of Dubuque community. He lead by example on and off the field, with his dedication, determination, attitude and intense work ethic. Luke truly loved being a coach, his players and the UD.
Luke's love of sports extended beyond the baseball diamond. He was an avid Hawkeye football fan, rooted for the Chicago Bears, was a die hard Cubs fan, and even had a 4 year stint as a Cyclone. Many life long memories were made as Luke traveled the country with family and friends taking in as many sporting events as he could. He attended Hawkeye football games with his Dad as a young boy and was a season ticket holder ever since. Luke enjoyed Cubs games with friends at Wrigley, traveled to see them play in San Francisco and LA, and even caught a few games in St. Louis, while seeking cancer treatment. Luke recently returned from an amazing trip to Florida, where he golfed, fished, and enjoyed the beach.
Luke touched the lives of many. He was the most genuine guy, with an amazing smile that would light up the room. His positive outlook on life, even through the most difficult times, was an inspiration. He made everyone around him a better person.
Luke cherished his family. His Mom, Dad and two older sisters were his world. He leaned on his mom even more, once beginning his cancer fight and she stood strongly at his side throughout it all. He was adored by his 6 nieces and nephews. Known as Uncle L, he enjoyed watching their events and encouraged them with daily texts and calls. Luke's extended family was a huge source of support, they were always there for him. Luke also had a very dear group of friends that he treasured like family.
Luke was a loving son and brother, the best uncle and a friend to many. He will be remembered for his positive outlook, genuine smile and his love of life. Luke will be truly missed.
Those left to cherish Luke's memory include his mother Kathy; two sisters Rachel (Jason) Padilla, and their children Hannah, Aubrey, Alannah, Blake and Lauren; Katie Kalb and her son Kael; Grandmother Millie Kalb, many aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear friends.
Luke was preceded in death by his father, Pete, grandpa AJ Kalb, and maternal grandparents Bob and Lollie Ferris.
In lieu of flowers, a Luke Kalb memorial fund has been established to create a baseball scholarship at the University of Dubuque in Luke's name.